Tune, Book 1: Vanishing Point

Derek Kirk Kim, Author
Derek Kirk Kim. Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.99 (156p) ISBN 978-1-59643-516-2
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This latest effort from Kim (Same Difference, Good as Lily) has all of the trademarks of a good 19th-century novel —coming-of-age, generational conflict, unrequited love, even a tortured artist—but it’s set in the present, speaks to a 21st-century reader, and has, well, aliens and stuff. Hero Andy Go is getting nowhere fast: he’s dropped out of his final year of art school and finds himself living with parents who tell him that he needs a job or else. Then there’s his hopeless crush on Yumi, a fellow art student. Things start to look up when he gets an illicit peek at her diary, but they take a bizarre turn when he shows up to an interview for a job at a zoo—in another dimension. Whether in Kim’s insights into everyday relationships or his examination of the difference between what we long for and what we live with, he blends his own brand of sweetness, wry humor, realism, and caricature to give readers a story that consistently suspends our disbelief. Readers new to Kim’s work will come away with a genuine appreciation of his talent—and they’ll never again be able to look at a manhole cover in quite the same way. (Nov.)
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